fter a back-and-forth first half that saw the match tied heading into the locker room, Nashville SC’s bid for a road win fell short on Wednesday night in Orlando with a 3-1 loss to Orlando City SC. A second-half brace from Daryl Dike broke the deadlock and handed Nashville its second consecutive defeat.
Nashville found itself on the attack early, offsetting Orlando’s possession advantage with a few chances on goal thanks to a new-look lineup that featured Abu Danladi and Daniel Ríos up front. Out of the gate, Danladi watched a couple strikes sail just over the crossbar in the 3’ and 6’ minutes that would have given Nashville the lead.
That lead didn’t evade Nashville long, though. After an Orlando foul, Hany Mukhtar crossed the ball into the box, where Dave Romney was waiting to head it in off an Orlando defender in the 15’ minute. The redirect gave Nashville a set-piece goal and a 1-0 advantage.
Orlando answered quickly, as a cross off the left foot of João Moutinho met the head of Chris Mueller, who found the back of the net to draw even at 1-1 in the 21’ minute.
Nashville threatened for the remainder of the half, as a shot by Ríos off a Danladi cross went just wide in the 28’ minute. A Joe Willis save on a Moutinho screamer kept it even in the 30’ minute, and the two sides went into halftime still tied.
The Boys in Gold kept the pressure on in the second half, but a counterattack by Orlando gave Orlando City SC the lead when Mauricio Pereyra fed Dike in the box for the go-ahead goal in the 52’ minute.
Nashville was inches away from an equalizer in the 62’ minute, as Randall Leal fired a shot off the right post, just past the outstretched hand of Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Minutes later, Dike once again found himself in the right place at the right time. His rebound goal cleaned up a Junior Urso miss to give Orlando a commanding 3-1 lead in the 71’ minute.
Joe Willis made a pair of diving saves in the 80’ and 81’ minute to limit further damage, but the remaining Nashville chances all fell just short in the loss.